Here is how to cash in on video production business

Smith Hempstone, a video director since 2015, says he believed he could make money when there was a huge demand for his skills. [Smith Hempstone, Standard]

As the digital revolution forces many businesses to migrate to online spaces, there increasing need to produce quality content.

As a result, one of the businesses that have bloomed is the video production industry.

The growth of distribution platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo has created a unique demand for video content - driving the jump in the advertising, film and music market.

Digitisation of TV platforms is also paving the way for better sound and picture quality for viewers - increasing revenues for stakeholders in the value chain.

This has resulted in more bandwidth for broadcasters to provide value-added services - boosting revenues. According to Forbes magazine, when it comes to content marketing, video is the future.

A 2019 report by Cisco also predicted that online video will be responsible for 80 per cent of global online traffic post-pandemic. So far, that has been the case.

Video production is key in business because a well-thought-out corporate video production made especially for your business is not only the best way to communicate with your audience, but can also increase conversations. It is a strategy that is increasingly being utilised by businesses globally.

Researching brands

When it comes to the global online content, and activities of social media users, a mind-boggling 90 per cent of them are watching videos.

An average of three hours and 20 minutes are spent on social media platforms daily, which is the main source of research for brands. Numbers always paint a better picture when it comes to drawing up business and marketing strategies.

There are many studies, reports, and statistics vouching for the unparalleled power of video in bringing on board new consumers and churning out more revenue. This is why the demand for niche skills in video production is high.

Smith Hempstone, a video director since 2015, says he believed he could make money when there was a huge demand for his skills. “My inspiration came from travelling and seeing how the production industry works outside Kenya. I was the main person with the camera and people would ask me to take photos and videos of them,’’ he said.

Just nine years on, his video production company, Smith Hems Production and his team are producing digital-first videos for global brands and notable celebrities.

This has seen him travel to the World Cup, China, Dubai, and South Africa just to name a few.

He says the shoots depend on the type of concepts clients have. He tailors his costs, as many clients would want quality content though their budget is low. He also shoots with the phone but what makes his production different is he invests so much time in lighting and editing.

“Most of my clients have the same phone that I am using but they can’t achieve the same quality. It’s just not point and shoot, it’s point, set and shoot.” Smith’s business is hugely tailor-made prices.

For corporate events, he charges Sh100,000 per event while for individual brands, he charges Sh300,000 per project.

For celebrity videos and individual shoots, he says he charges between Sh30,000 and 50,000.

“My business’s turnover averages Sh300,000 and about Sh4 million annually,” he noted.

A smart business will use this opportunity to improve consumer engagement, click-through, and site traffic with an appealing and informative video.

Video marketing can help your business reach new heights. However, when it comes to corporate video production, always opt for specialists. They will create high-quality videos that can boost your brand visibility. Smith’s ambition is to create a production hub of skilled and talented creatives.

“That is my dream project. I am passionate about teaching people and making sure that anyone working with me gets the right skill that I have,” he adds.

He attributes having a good eye and a vision to see a good image as one of the qualities that makes one a good video director. Others include the ability to script, direct, shoot and edit.

Video production is important for businesses because it is one of the most effective marketing tools. Corporate video production makes visually appealing information that is easily understood - keeping viewers interested. A video can explain any product or service better than other mediums.

The appealing visuals of the video are capable of better engaging your target audience.

Business psychology says messages received through video are retained longer and more accurately. All this contributes to increased brand awareness and recognition.

Social media platforms are more receptive to branded videos. Video content also increases sales margins, effectively portrays the brand identity, keeps you on top of search results, as well as explains any concept clearly.

Standard requirements

According to The Business Research Company’s Film and Video Global Market Report 2023, the global film and video market size grew from $267.6 billion (Sh37 trillion) in 2022 to $283.5 billion (Sh40 trillion) in 2023. The film and video market size is then expected to grow to $344.8 billion (Sh48.9 trillion) in 2027.

In Kenya, the cost of video production can vary widely depending on the scope of the project and the type of production services needed. Generally, video production services in Kenya cost between Sh20,000 and Sh2 million. The standard requirements to begin a professional career in video production are good.

DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) video camera that might cost you around Sh300,000 and a good video editing computer with fast processing speed for rendering the clips. Most videographers prefer an iMac that costs about Sh200,000.

For Windows computers, you’ll need an i5 valued at between Sh50,000 and Sh70,000, but you’ll have to contend with slow video rendering speeds and sometimes, poor quality.

Smith advises young entrepreneurs to ‘focus on being great’. “Get to master your crafts-ship to the point that you don’t need to look for jobs, and knock on doors. Once you master your craft ship people will look for you,” he said. He challenges everyone to go the extra mile and do an extraordinary thing.